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  • The Island of Longing

  • By: Anne Griffin
  • Narrated by: Aoife McMahon
  • Length: 8 hrs and 51 mins
  • 3.9 out of 5 stars (15 ratings)

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The Island of Longing cover art

The Island of Longing

By: Anne Griffin
Narrated by: Aoife McMahon
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Summary

From the #1 Irish bestselling author of When All Is Said and Listening Still comes a haunting, exquisitely written story of enduring love that asks us - would you ever give up on trying to find your child, if they vanished without a trace?

One unremarkable afternoon, Rosie watched her daughter Saoirse cycle into town, expecting to hear the slam of the door when she returned a few hours later. But the slam never came.

Eight years on, after an extensive investigation into her disappearance, Rosie is the only person who stubbornly believes that her child might still be alive. When Rosie receives a call from her father, asking her to return home for the summer, she is forced out of her limbo. Life on the island of Roaring Bay revives old rivalries, but it also brings new friendships and unexpected solace.

Yet, when a sudden glimmer of hope appears, Rosie is forced to face an impossible question: is she right to think that Saoirse is still alive? Or will her belief that her daughter will one day return to her come at the cost of everything she has left?

©2023 Anne Griffin (P)2023 Hodder & Stoughton Limited

Critic reviews

"An elegant and moving account of family loss and reconnection, this is Anne Griffin's best novel yet." (John Boyne)

"An immensely powerful novel by a storyteller of rare gifts." (Joseph O'Connor)

"Anne takes a deep dive into the soul of the mother of a missing child and the result is a story that is both heartwarming and heartbreaking. Beautifully written and sensitive without ever being sentimental, this is a stunning portrait by a master craftswoman. I loved it." (Liz Nugent)

What listeners say about The Island of Longing

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    1 out of 5 stars

Disappointing, no story, no plot. Flat characters.

After all the high profile media reviews and hype about this novel, I was really looking forward to it. But I found no plot, no story, just a series of melancholy ramblings that hinted at the underlying theme of the missing daughter. The narrator did a good job with a benign novel. The characters were shallow and predictable and there was more of a fuss made over the ownership of the ferry crossing business than the missing child. I really don't understand how a book like this gets published, let alone receives several 5 star reviews from various critics and journalists, Maybe I'm missing something but if this is a taste of what the author has to offer, I'll be avoiding her in the future. Really disappointed.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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Absolutely brilliant

Ann, you are something else to produce another great book that has left me in floods of tears. How you can capture the emotions is honestly unbelievable. Can’t wait for next book

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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Engaging

A story that helped a long return car journey pass quickly. Doesn’t hit the heights of Anne Griffin’s first book, but much better than her second. Worth listening to.

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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Depressing and Disappointed

Having recently listened to and enjoyed A.G last two novels, unfortunately this one was a real effort to finish. The cork accent is not my favourite and a not very good Donegal accent didn't help. I found the fact that the missing daughter was 17 hard to believe, the scenario would have been more believable if the daughter was much younger. Then the other stories within the novel were so boring I was very glad to finish it.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Outstanding

This is a journey of love that lasts through everything. It brings the listener along with it… I became so involved in the story. I laughed and cried. I got to know them all so well. I cared about them. The beauty of the island. The kindness and characters of the islanders. The strong sense of community, the loyalty of friends and family…. And the loss and grief. Please listen the reader and the voices were fantastic and I loved the lilt and the life in each voice. Excellent, engaging, entrancing, exciting and heartbreaking….. please give yourself a gift and listen to this story.

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stunning

Another stunning piece of masterful storytelling from Anne Griffin. She captures the essence of Irish culture and character with such purity in her characters that it feels as though they exist in flesh somewhere. I love that her storytelling is not predictable. I don't want to comment on the content, but I will say that it nearly broke me at one point. I had to stop and have a weep before resuming. Simply beautiful is all I can say.

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